Overview

LED illumination is a safer and more controllable alternative to high-pressure mercury-based lamps. Like any microscope illuminator, care must be taken to ensure there is no damage to eyes or skin, and we have provided safety guidelines for our equipment.

Heart

CoolLED LED products are mercury-free

Mercury-based illuminators can be very intense in the UV and carry a risk of bulb explosion which can release mercury vapour into the room.  There is a worldwide shift away from the production and use of mercury as alternative materials become available, and LEDs now offer such an alternative in the case of fluorescence microscopy.

Safety guidelines for LEDs

LEDs are classified under EN62471:2008, “Photobiological Safety of Lamps and Lamp Systems” which cover a broader range of microscope illuminators including mercury and metal halide. Although the risk from LEDs is considerably lower than from conventional high-pressure lamps due to no undesired deep UV illumination or presence of mercury, it is important to avoid exposure of eyes to the collimated light beam or from the light guides or fibres.

The main area of risk is from UV radiation which cannot be seen by the human eye but where the eye is particularly sensitive to damage. It is those LEDs at wavelengths below 400 nm where most care should be taken and if you have any questions on this or would like more clarification, please contact us.